Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The Lost Shepherd (Snippet)

September 2024

They moved on foot, eight in total, tracking through the abandoned city only an hour behind their prey. Mace was in charge. Mace was always in charge. He was the largest, the toughest, the scariest. He’d only been challenged twice for his position as leader, and he carried the teeth of the challengers around his neck. His clan resided on the other side of the city, it was a small gathering of brutes and cutthroats that had seized a foothold on one of the major footpaths of the country. A lot of the travellers roaming the countryside moved in groups, some too large for Mace and his clan to go after, but smaller groups and solitary travellers were easy prey.
Mace raised his hands. He was missing two fingers; a punishment from his childhood. The pack stopped and sniffed. Two of their scouts positioned themselves ahead, their automatic rifles poised and ready. Mace’s men dominated the area, but there were always rival gangs trying to encroach on his territory. He waited, listening to the light breeze whistling through the abandoned buildings. The air was damp and moist, but at least the rain had stopped.

Mace dropped to a crouch to inspect an indent in the soil; a footprint made by the old man. They had him now. Mace licked at his chapped, broken lips, exposing a mouth of sharp black teeth. A lifetime in the clan had made him more beast than man. His skin was like leather, his eyes wild and sharp. Some travellers buckled at just the sight of him and they were right to; Mace was far crueller than he looked. Mace dropped his hand and nodded. The pack began to move.